Manitoba snowfall good news for agriculture

While many Manitobans are likely fed up with digging out from the recent snowfall, agriculture producers in the province are breathing a sigh of relief.

They say the recent snowfall will give producers the added moisture they need to get a good start to the 2022 growing season.

Joe Bouchard, a cattle producer in Fisher Branch, has 400 cows and 1,400 acres of grain. He said last year’s drought took a toll on many producers in the province, and called 2021 the hardest year he has ever faced.

“Trying to make sure we had enough feed was our biggest concern for our cattle to get them through the winter,” he said. “The crops were poor, which also compounded the issue.”

Bouchard said last year, he had to buy feed and grain to get his herd through winter due to dry pastures, and even sold some cattle to make it through.

However, with the high volume of snow Manitoba has received this winter, things are looking up.

“The last few winters, we haven’t had so much snow, so this is a good start,” Bouchard said. “We had a large dump in November, and lots melted into the ground, and then what we’ve had over the winter is definitely going to help.”

Carson Callum, president of the Manitoba Beef Producers, agreed the heavy snowfall will definitely help producers.

“We’re still going to need some important, timely rains through the summer like we always do; however, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable looking out there and seeing the snow on the ground,” he said.

Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) also say the current trend is encouraging for production of grans and oil seeds.

“We’ll just have to see how spring melt happens, and hopefully we do get some runoff to replenish our lakes, streams and rivers,” said Bill Campbell, president of KAP.

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